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PHOTO: ACLU of Indiana

INDIANAPOLIS — After Governor Holcomb signed the bill banning gender-affirming care to Hoosier transgender minors, the ACLU of Indiana said they will fight it in the courts.

Holcomb signed Senate Bill 480 which bans trans kids under 18 from receiving healthcare that provides puberty blockers or hormone replacement therapy. The American Civil Liberties Union and ACLU of Indiana filed a lawsuit against the state.

“This law prohibits medically necessary gender-affirming care, which is well accepted by every major medical organization in the United States and is essential for the mental and physical well-being of many Hoosier youth,” said ACLU of Indiana Legal Director Kenneth Falk.

“This is a dangerous law. This is a cruel law…” Falk said at a press conference by the ACLU. “We will be filing an injunction which we hope the court will allow the court to rule on and enjoin the law before it’s scheduled effective date on July 1st.”

The ACLU says that the new law will be fought on the basis of sex. The bill does not ban puberty blockers or the treatments in cisgender children, but only for transgender children. “Discrimination against transgender persons is sex-based discrimination, which is subject to high scrutiny which is something this law cannot meet,” Falk said.

“You will hear the legislature talking about how ‘we want to safeguard parents rights’, ‘we want to make parents be able decide what books are in libraries or what goes on in schools’ because parental rights is so important. It’s important and the right of a parent to direct necessary and essential medical care.”

Beth and Nathanial Clawson are two parent-plaintiffs in the lawsuit the ACLU of Indiana filed Wednesday. They say that their 10-year-old daughter is scared about starting puberty without gender-affirming medical care.

“It has been very difficult being in our house and just knowing that this was coming. Knowing that our ability to care for our daughter is being taken away,” Nathanial said.

In the ACLU’s press conference, healthcare workers also spoke. Dr. Catherine Bast said, “if we are unable to provide this care, that’s going to be devastating to us as providers who know and see the life-saving nature of this medically necessary care.”

As the ban goes starts July 1st, any minors who are currently taking gender-affirming care will have to stop by the end of the year.